"Cats know what they want and they know how to get it," says Brown. "Plus, they always land on their feet. And I could fall down a flight of stairs and still land on my feet."
Putting the literal sense aside, it's pretty safe to say the singer's been landing on her feet since she first stepped into the States from her native Australia. And those footpaths she's leaving are only getting bigger.
Brown's working on about eight hours of sleep stretched over three days when we finally get her on the line. Busy would be an understatement to describe this Aussie export's schedule as of late. Having just made her American television debut the night before on America's Got Talent, she's practically buzzing with the excitement of the premiere, even almost 24 hours later.
"It was amazing. It was the most nervous I've ever been," she says.
Describing the spur of the moment call to do the show, Brown says she heard on Sunday night that she'd be performing. And she was in Indonesia when she got that call.
"I had just gotten to Indonesia and I was going to have to fly back anyway, but I got back on a plane and then we had about 48 hours to get everything together, to put the show together and learn all the choreography," she says. "It was so fun. I loved it."
So, it would appear the DJ/singer/soon-to-be-mega-superstar has made her breakthrough in the U.S., what with a new EP, a hit single and her recent guest spot on AGT. But the 27-year-old's rise to fame has been a bit less than meteoric. In fact, she's been working in music in one form or the other for quite some time now. Starting her career as the sole female component of a U.K.-based group called Fishbowl, Brown got her first taste of professional disappointment when the group disbanded before even releasing their first single. It was following that blow that she decided to take a different path to achieve her dreams of musical prodigiousness. It led her to the DJ booth.
It was there she developed a style that attracted execs from Island Records Australia. The label signed her in 2008 and she set to work on a series of compilation albums called Crave. She released seven of the records, a couple of which topped out at number two on Australian music charts, two others were certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
But it wasn't until Brown released her single "We Run the Night" in 2011 that her ascent to the top really began. The song went platinum three times and garnered her nominations of Best Breakthrough Artist and Highest Selling Single from the ARIA and she was awarded Breakthrough Artist of 2011 by the IT List Awards.
You may have heard that single, by the way. A year, a remastering and a collaboration with Pitbull later and the song's sold over 700,000 copies in the U.S., spent over 19 weeks on Billboard's Pop chart and continues (at time of press) to hold the record for the longest ascent of that chart in 14 years.
Along the way, Brown hasn't been resting on her laurels, counting the successes of her hit single. She's been on tour with everyone from the Pussycat Dolls to Chris Brown to Britney Spears to Enrique Iglesias. It was that last tour that she met her current collaborative partner and the man she's about to go embark on another journey with.
"I met Pitbull while I was on tour with Enrique," she says. And from that meeting stemmed not only a massive hit, but an upcoming tour that will visit over 20 cities in the states before heading to Australia.
During those few weeks, it's safe to say Brown and Pit will be performing their ubiquitous single every night. And considering she's been working on, hearing and performing this song for over a year in an industry where club hits have the shelf life of brown bananas, it kind of begs the question, isn't she sick of this song yet?
"I'm not sick of the song yet," she says. "Actually, it feels quite brand new now because it's a new crowd. Maybe if I'm still performing it in 50 years, but right now, it still feels exciting."
She'll be spinning that track as well as the rest of her EP, When the Lights Go Out, at MGM's V Nightclub come Saturday night, a trip to Detroit that won't be her first. And as for any DJ, a visit to the birthplace of electronic music can never be a tame one.
"The last time I was here, I deejayed at a club about 40 minutes outside of the city and it was just insane. I loved that crowd," says Brown.
Well, considering the high rotation of your current single both on our radio stations and in our heads, it's safe to say, Detroit loves you too, Miss Brown. | RDW
Havana Brown • 7/28, 11 p.m. • V Nightclub MGM Grand Detroit • 1777 Third St., Detroit• 877.888.2121 • mgmgranddetroit.com • $20